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Gas Pipelines and Compressors are responsible for "The mysterious hum" that is being heard around the world. A simple factual explaination and admission of truth comes from an industry service provider in the UK

Posted on 29/04/22 by visibility

Flutter and hum explained

Industrial noise comes from a huge variety of sources. This includes things like generators and compressors. In addition, some forms of gas can get noisy when you transport or vent them. That is why we design and supply first class natural gas silencers. To do so, we use special software to ensure our models can incorperate into your systems

One thing you might not be aware of is that pipelines produce noises that can negatively impact your health. Gas lines in particular produce a phenomenon of low and extra-low frequency sound waves. They occur due to the transmission of high pressure natural gas through the set ups. These noises are referred to as flutter and hum.

What is flutter?

This is a persistent pulsating airborne pressure wave. It radiates from pipelines. It is a problem that affects the immediate area. You will find that it sounds like the rumbling you can hear from distant thunder. It also feels like the pulsations originating from a helicopter that is flying in the distance.

The big issue is the sound can penetrate houses and feels like a vibration in your ears and head. Another place where you can feel flutter is outside as a discomfort because of interior organ resonance.

What about hum noise?

This is an invasive and persistent low frequency droning, rumbling, or humming. It is not audible to everyone. It tends to resonate in enclosed structures, causing vibrations/sounds between 1 and 50 hertz. Hum waves can move over 25 miles from their origin and expand over an area.

The hum is usually felt more than heard because it is a sputtering tonal noise. It is also an accompanying vibrotactile sensation. People often describe it like numerous intensities of idling diesel engines that are always operating outside their property. Little is known about hum, making it the more unsettling of the two.

Talk to us about natural gas silencers

At Ventx, we understand how important it is to properly design a silencer. If they are not right, they could compromise your set ups. It could lead to even more noise or even damage equipment. We make sure this does not happen though.

We are very proud to have been able to serve a long list of clients, each with their own specifications. Our approach ensures you get the attention you require. As a result, you have the right support and can expect the most effective results.

So, if you need our natural gas silencers,please let us know. We can design them for any kind of pipeline as well as other facilities in the industry.

In order to understand how Natural Gas is responsible for generating the vast majority of Hum reports around the world it is essential to have some knowledge of the scope and magnitude of this industry as a whole. The image below is one page of a Document prepared 5 years ago in 2018. It describes Natural Gas infrastructure in the United States.
The Author suggests that 5 Million Horsepower of Compression must be replaced in the next fifteen years and indicates that the average age of compressors is 25 - 30 years old.
5 million Horsepower ... and that number only represents old equipment that needs to be replaced. It does not include new compression installs intended to take up the slack for power generation that was formerly accomplished with coal fired plants. It does not include increased demand for energy due to population growth. Nor does it represent the total horsepower required to gather and transports natural gas in the United States.
Something to consider is that even with incredible numbers like to ones shown in this Document, there have been very few successful noise complaints and even fewer ILFN prosecutions in the United States. Given the amount of Pipeline and the astounding amount of machinery one must ask how this can possibly operate in complete silence? The answer is that it doesn't. Best efforts by the Industry and equipment manufactures have certainly done and admirable job of keeping things quiet for the most part but in fact, Governments and Regulatory bodies have stacked the deck in order to perpetuate a lie and protect something that nobody wants to admit. Natural Gas Pipelines and Infrastructure emit infra sound and low frequency noise. Without question that noise has come to be known as the Hum heard around the World.

Why "the Hum" gets louder at night ?
One of the mysteries surrounding "The Hum" is why does it seem to get louder or be more prevalent at night or in the wee hours of the morning This is a question I have had difficultly resolving until I stumbled upon this "Reccomended for you" Post One of the Comments describes a process call "Line Packing" that is employed with natural gas pipelines.

Without a doubt this explains why the Hum is louder at times and particularly louder at night.

What is Linepack ?


"Linepack" refers to the volume of gas that can be "stored" in a gas pipeline. Thinking back to basic chemistry, gas can be compressed (unlike liquids). Think of the classic example of compressing air in a bicycle pump. The air can be compressed into a smaller volume, or more air could also be squeezed into a fixed volume - for example a tyre.


The operational implications of line pack mean that the volume of gas injected into a pipeline (at the inlet), can bd greater than the volume of gas withdrawn from the pipeline (at the outlet). This frequently occurs due to the unpredictable nature of end-user operations and hence, their gas demand.


However, when gas is 'stored' in the pipeline by compressing it, the pressure exerted on all parts of the pipeline increases. The quantity of additional gas volume that can be stored in a pipeline depends on the pressure rating of the pipe, flanges, non return valves, compressors etc, as well as the ability for equipment upstream (before the inlet) and downstream (past the outlet) to respond to a sudden surge in pressure if inlet or outlet valves failure. This event is called a high-pressure/low-pressure breakthrough. When the pipeline pressure is high, it becomes increasingly difficult to inject additional gas into it. Compressors are used to increase the injection pressure of the gas.

The Hum is also prevalant whereever natural gas is being produced.


Not long after I started to look for the explanation for the World Hum someone told me about a Website and Database that contains accounts of "The Hum"

After my examination of the World Hum Site on a number of occasions I began to notice a corellation between reports of The Hum and a map of Countries that produce natural gas. Above is an illustraion of Australia's Pipelines and natural gas production facilities. As you can see there is a concentration of Hum reports in the areas where there is activity.

The image on the right is a map of Hum reports from the World Hum database The image on the left is a Map of natural gas Compressors in the US. Keep in mind that Infrasound and low Frequency noise generated by pipeline compressors can travel along the pipeline and through the air for great distances due the the length of the sound waves.

Prince Edward Island, which has no Gas Pipelines or processing facilities has zero accounts of the The Hum in the Database

Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Prince Edward Island

Cavendish Farms is the biggest user of NG in the Province but it is trucked in.

Cavendish Farms now fuelled by natural gas - The Guardian - Updated: Sep 30, 2017 at 2:41 a.m.

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